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UK Coaching Team

Equal to the Task: Women Have Just as Much to Offer the Coaching Industry as Men

Award-winning athletics coach Deborah Bray discusses some of the difficulties faced by women as they make their way up the coaching ladder

Your starter for 10: What do former England rugby union coach Stuart Lancaster, Richard Williams – father of legendary tennis sisters Serena and Venus – and award-winning athletics coach Deborah Bray have in common?

The answer: None of them played at an elite level in their respective sports, and yet all carved out highly successful careers for themselves as a coach.

Exceptions to the rule they might be, but don’t for one moment think that, because you haven’t competed in the top echelons of your sport, it impacts your chances of being a top coach. It doesn’t.

Deborah Bray is a shining example, at an amateur level, that success off the field of play is not dependent on success on it.

She confesses she “didn’t even compete in athletics as a youngster”.

That this has not been a barrier to her progress is a point she is keen to get across, in order to put the minds at rest of those women who may be contemplating taking their first steps into coaching.

I’m the perfect example of you don’t have to have played that sport to coach it,” she says. “That shouldn't stop women taking up coaching. If I can do it, then anyone can.

“My advice: just do it.”

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UK Coaching Team